Some companies just don’t get the hint. You might claim to be sustainable, you might boast of your membership to corporate sustainability groups, and you might bandy around the United Nations to shore up your “green” credentials.
But the fact is, if you don’t walk the talk, you simply aren’t “green”.
Indonesian pulp and paper giant APRIL, or Asia Pacific Resources International, is one of these. We wrote about it last month, highlighting how APRIL is now the leading driver of deforestation for pulp in Indonesia, despite all its claims of “responsible and best-practice sustainable forestry management”.
But they got a rude wake up call today.
01 January 2012
Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper PT deforestation in an APRIL concession in Kampar peatland landscape (still image from video footage).
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an association that claims to bring together the "world’s most progressive companies", today delivered APRIL a stark warning: pull your socks up by the end of this year or face the consequences.
Following pressure from NGOs, including Greenpeace, and a WBCSD investigation, the company has been scrutinised and received a humiliating blow to its credibility because it continues to trash Indonesia’s rainforests.
Last month Greenpeace wrote to the WBCSD asking them to suspend APRIL’s membership until it cleans up its act. We provided them with evidence showing that recent government data reveals that an incredible 60% of fibre supply to APRIL's Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) pulp mill in Indonesia is rainforest wood. In 2012, APRIL planned to feed its Sumatran pulp mill by trashing another 60,000 hectares of rainforest – an area nearly the size of Singapore.
APRIL is also a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. Let’s see what they’re going to tell APRIL..
Following today’s development Greenpeace International has written to the head of the UN Global Compact informing them of WBCSD’s warning to APRIL. We have requested that they take immediate steps to demand it commits to zero deforestation or terminate its membership.
As part of its membership agreement with Global Compact, APRIL is required to ‘support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges’.
But we just can’t see how clearing 60,000 hectares of rainforest a year fits any definition of the word ‘precautionary’. Given the recent decision by APP to end its involvement in deforestation pressure on APRIL to stop clearing Indonesia’s rainforests is only going to increase.
Until they walk the talk, we will continue to expose APRIL’s continued destruction of Indonesian forests.
Find out more how we are campaigning to protect forests in Indonesia.
Bustar Maitar is Head of Indonesia Forest Campaign for Greenpeace SouthEast Asia